When discussing birth injuries, the focus is often on the potential harm/injuries that the baby can sustain during delivery. This is understandable given the love and care parents and families have for their new family member. However, it would be shortsighted to neglect the multitude of potential birth injuries to mothers. One rare, but very serious, condition to look out for in pregnant women is preeclampsia. Left undiagnosed and unchecked, the condition can cause serious birth injury to mothers and pose a life-threatening risk to the child. If you or a loved one have suffered from misdiagnosed and mismanaged preeclampsia during pregnancy or labor that resulted in a birth injury to the mother, contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek for legal assistance.
What is Preeclampsia?
In simple terms, preeclampsia is a serious disease related to high blood pressure. It can happen to any pregnant woman. In many cases, preeclampsia can be effectively managed, preventing harm to the mother and child. But, the nature of pregnancy and gestation (such as forming of the placenta and sending enough blood to the uterus) can create limitations and dangers that make preeclampsia challenging to manage without creating a further risk of birth injury to mothers or their unborn child. As such, there are serious risks associated with preeclampsia, such as seizures, stroke, organ damage or death; and premature birth or death of the child.
Signs of Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia can be difficult to diagnose, some expectant mothers experience no symptoms at all. Luckily, prenatal care provides for frequent and thorough checkups that should catch any abnormalities in a mother’s progression through pregnancy.
But, there are signs to be on the lookout for. Preeclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal. Signs of preeclampsia experienced are somewhat similar to the normal discomforts felt during pregnancy, including: sudden weight gain ( ≥ 5 lbs in a week), swollen hands/face/feet, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headaches, and seeing spots. Additionally, a condition called proteinuria, characterized by foamy or bubbly urine, can indicate preeclampsia.
During regular checkups, doctors should assess a mother’s risk for developing preeclampsia by examining the following areas:
- Pre-existing vascular disease (i.e., high blood pressure or diabetes)
- Multiple gestations (expecting more than one child in one pregnancy)
- Blood disorders, including a history of blood clots
- Family history of preeclampsia
From there, the doctor can run various tests and monitor the mother’s condition for diagnostic signs of preeclampsia.
- Consistent abnormally high blood pressure
- Protein in the urine (proteinuria)
- Low platelet count in the blood
- Kidney and/or liver dysfunction
Treatment and Cure
The most effective “cure” for preeclampsia is delivery. The longer the mother stays in this condition, the more likely she can suffer seizures, stroke, severe bleeding, or placental abruption. Depending on how close a mother is to her due date, Doctors will either recommend a cesarean section surgery or induce labor early to alleviate the mother’s high blood pressure. If the mother is still in the early stages of her pregnancy and delivery is not an option, the doctor will recommend alternative measures such as an increase in prenatal checkups, consuming less salt, drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, and changes to your diet.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
Do you believe that you or your loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical neglect? You need to talk to an experienced team of local lawyers today.
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.